Most of us spend hours making our resume look nice and professional for a job application.

We put in the work, we hand it over or send it off, and then we wait. All that work for a job that may or may not ever pay off.

But few of us actually put in the follow-up work.

In a recent survey, 300 HR managers were asked if receiving a follow up email or thank you note affected the chance of an applicant getting hired. 80% of them said yes -- that gesture increased the likelihood of that person getting hired. And yet, they also said, only 24% of applicants actually did follow up, down 51% from 10 years ago.

Why should you follow up after an interview?

Here are five reasons:

1. It shows you appreciated and respected the interviewer's time and consideration.

2. It puts your name back across the hiring manager's desk or screen, which could be a huge advantage to you if they've interviewed more than just a couple people.

3. It makes you memorable. Even if you don't get that particular job, your follow-up communication may increase your chances of being considered again in the future.


4. It's a forgotten etiquette. To say thank you, even for an interview, is just good manners.

5. It shows professionalism. Not only does a follow-up make you stand out, but it allows you to ask follow-up questions, make additional points and display your written communication skills.

My dad -- who works in HR himself -- taught me this early on, and it's something I've been intentional in applying over the years. After interviewing for the job I have now with Townsquare Media, I sent both managers who interviewed me hand-written thank you notes. I can't say for certain that it was because of that gesture I was hired, but I'd like to think that it made an impression.

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